New Mexico Police Searching for Stolen Salvation Army Toy Van

by Thad Mitchell
(Photo by Yoon S. Byun/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

A real-life Grinch is on the loose. Law enforcement officials say someone stole a van full of Christmas toys for needy children from the Salvation Army.

The incident happened in Farmington, New Mexico. The culprit stole the van full of toys from a Walmart parking lot. Officials say the total value of the stolen goods is around $6,000. The Salvation Army planned to distribute the toys in the coming days. The organization says there were enough toys in the van to give hundreds of children a brighter Christmas. As you might expect, the Farmington community feels outraged over the theft of the children’s toys. The incident reportedly happened on Tuesday. Police voiced plans to look into the matter.

 Farmington police spokesperson Nicole Brown says the theft is especially upsetting to the community due to the circumstances.

“It is a pretty Grinch-like thing to do,” she says to a local media outlet. Brown also notes law enforcement officials are conducting interviews as they investigate the toy theft.

Using social media, the Farmington Police Department is reaching out to the community in hopes of solving this case. Shortly after the incident, the department took to Facebook in hopes of gathering information on who might have taken the Salvation Army toys.

“Officers are seeking the public’s assistance in a stolen vehicle case,” the social media post says. “A white 2011 sienna minivan was stolen from Walmart on E. Main St. It had two Salvation Army magnets on the sides but they may have been removed, and NM license plate of 614RLG. The minivan was full of toys for kids. Anyone with information is asked to call dispatch at 505-334-6622 about case number 21-68289.”

Salvation Army Van Theft Leaves Many Outraged

As you would expect, the Farmington community feels deeply upset about the Salvation Army Van theft. It seems inhuman for someone to steal Christmas toys from young children.

“Shock, disbelief, just how somebody could do that — especially in a marked vehicle, taking gifts for children,” Christopher Rockwell with the Salvation Army says.

Rockwell says the stolen toys were to be dispersed on Monday, and that more than 350 children would be receiving gifts. The Farmington community, however, has stepped to donate more toys and money in hopes of providing a brighter Christmas.

‘The response of the community and what they’re doing is absolutely heartwarming,” Rockwell says. “This area is just so generous and giving here in Farmington and the Four Corners area.”

According to the organization’s website, the Salvation Army exists to meet human needs wherever, whenever, and however we can. The site says the organization assists around 30 million Americans each year and serves in 131 countries worldwide with more than 1.8 million members.